After six straight days of thunderstorms across the islands, I asked Ben if we could please try to find the sun. We’d been able to have some really fun adventures during cloudy breaks in the rain, but I was ready for some lighter weather. I’m not such a tough girl.
Well, we couldn’t escape the rain, but Ben sure did everything possible trying! His technique was to drive toward the part of the island which was scheduled to see rain last, and follow the bit of clear space as it moved across the island.
That’s how we ended up at the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa, Oahu.
Of course I was interested in going there- it’s a food sight, for goodness’ sake- but I honestly had no idea how invigorating a place it would be. After 2 busy sunny days (finally!), I still consider this plantation visit one of the best things we did on our trip!
Dole Plantation Wahiawa, O’ahu
First of all, the cat is out of the bag on this one. It’s no secret spot. We entered into a giant gift store with everything from pineapple candy to stuffed pineapple dolls, t-shirts, coasters, hats, sunglasses, pillows, shot glasses, etc. and people speaking all sorts of languages crowded together considering it all.
We were all brought together by our love of pineapple. Or by seeking a refuge from the storm.
We had a great time laughing over the many, many, many items for sale and which would be amazing gag gifts for our family. It’s hard not to get sucked into a place like that!
The plantation also offers a tour via the Pineapple Express train, a pineapple hedge maze, a pineapple garden, pineapple cutting demonstrations, and fish feeding pond, but the real reason to stop in is…. drum roll…. THE DOLE WHIPS.
World Famous Dole Whip
What is the secret to this incredible pineapple soft serve? Seriously. I need to know. We’re about to travel around the world and I have no know where I can get (or make) my next fix!
We made the agonizing decision to order the Pineapple Waffle Cone ($9.95) with one giant swirl of soft serve + pineapple chunks and strawberry topping vs. the Pineapple Split ($26.95) which is three towers of soft serve inside a pineapple quarter. It was tempting, but we hadn’t eaten lunch yet and too much sugar on an empty stomach just hurts. You really can’t blame us.
The Waffle Cone was still more than we could finish, delicious though it was. Oooooooh it was good. Except for the 3 heaps of canned pineapple which stuffed the bottom of the waffle, ironically.
Dole Plantation Review
After our sweet treat we dragged ourselves to a pineapple garden with informative placards on how the farm operates. To be honest, it seems like a really inefficient fruit. The plants have to be hand planted, take 18 months to produce their first of 3 fruits over a 45-month lifespan, require hand harvesting, and take up a lot of space to store and ship in freight ships or airplane to Mainland, U.S.A.
But people seem to like it! And as long as the Dole Whips keep coming I’m a happy camper. Grow your pineapples however you see fit.
We didn’t pay for the official garden tour, the Pineapple Express train ride, or the pinapple maze because seeing the zany pineapple-themed items in the gift store, reading about how pineapples are harvested, and eating our Dole Whip sundae felt very satisfying. I just didn’t feel the need to prolong the trip when we had already done more pineapple things than we thought possible!